WASHINGTON (VOA News) – George H.W. Bush, the 41st president of the United States, a man born of patrician pedigree, but with a sense of honor, duty and service to his country that played out over the last 60 years of the 20th century, died Friday at age 94.
In a life on the world stage and at the highest levels of the American political scene, Bush lost and won elections before becoming the American leader in 1989, and then, with a declining U.S. economy and unemployment rising, was turned out of office after four years in the White House, losing his re-election bid in 1992.
He marked the start of his presidency with a sweeping inaugural declaration that “a new breeze is blowing, and a world refreshed by freedom seems reborn; for in man’s heart, if not in fact, the day of the dictator is over. The totalitarian era is passing, its old ideas blown away like leaves from an ancient, lifeless tree.”
His pronouncement soon proved prophetic, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union occurring early in his presidency. Bush met with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, their Malta talks viewed as an important stepping stone toward the two leaders signing the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.